Colin Kolles' ambition of returning to the F1 grid could be endangered by an ongoing legal battle with a former employee.

Kolles, who previously enjoyed spells at the head of both the Force India and HRT teams, is one of three bidders understood to have lodged an application to join the F1 field next season, along with NASCAR team owner Gene Haas and Zoran Stefanovich, but remains at the centre of a court action brought by Stephane Chosse, who designed for the Romanian's sportscar project in 2012-13.

Chosse claims that he was never fully paid for his services, and the dispute with Kolles' Kodewa company initially came to a head when the cars were seized by French police ahead of last year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

According to German sports website Spox, the first stage of the case is due to be heard by a court in Nuremberg on Friday, with Chosse's SCE concern seeking EUR400,000 of a total EUR2.2m it believes to be outstanding from design and development work. The initial figure is understood to cover subsequent modelling and wind tunnel work on the car.

The FIA is expected to reveal at the end of February whether any of the bids to join the F1 field has been successful, and Kolles' application has already attracted interest after being linked with Romanian manufacturer Dacia. Now under the Renault umbrella, the marque is launching a renewed push on the auto market and Caradisiac last month named it as one of the 'Romanian entities' hoping to use Kolles bid 'to promote the country's image and businesses'.